Today I'm happy to introduce a terrific guest blogger—my friend Kim Jones, who has a passion for the issue of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is one the biggest human rights issues of our day. More than 20 million people are currently enslaved. This is more than at the time of transatlantic slave trade. Women, men, girls, and boys are bought and sold throughout our world.
Individuals are trafficked for forced labor, domestic work, and for sexual exploitation. Those who have been trafficked for labor or domestic work many times suffer sexual exploitation by their employers. Those at risk of trafficking are typically at the margins of society with little hope.
How can I help?
1. Learn about the issue
The first place we must start is to explore the issue. With the great resources of the internet, we have an unbelievable opportunity. We can connect with the stories of restoration, learn the signs of who might be at risk, and even find out how our lifestyles are contributing to the issue. There are books to read and laws to understand.
2. Pray with a Christ-like heart
Once we’ve explored the brokenness of human trafficking, it should drive us to our knees in prayer. It should lead us to express our passion, to express our anguish before God.
What does this kind of prayer look like? I believe it involves several elements: praise, thanksgiving, repentance, specific requests, and commitment. We need to understand that if anything is going to happen about the brokenness of this world, it’s only going to happen because God shows up, because God has his hands in it. We must be a people of prayer.
Amy Carmichael, a missionary who helped to save many children’s lives in India, communicates this idea so beautifully: “There were days when the sky turned black for me because of what I heard and knew was true. Sometimes it was as if I saw the Lord Jesus Christ kneeling alone, as he knelt long ago under the olive trees. And the only thing that one who cared could do was to go softly and kneel down beside him, so that he would not be alone in his sorrow over the little children.... And I knew that this was His burden, not mine. It was He who was asking me to share it with Him, not I who was asking Him to share it with me. After that there was only one thing to do: who that saw Him kneeling there could turn away and forget? Who could have done anything but go into the garden and kneel down beside Him under the olive trees?”
The brokenness of our world grieves the heart of God, and it should grieve our hearts as well. But don’t feel overwhelmed, because Christ will carry those burdens when you walk alongside Him.
3. Invest your gifts, passions, and resources
Sometimes the way God chooses to accomplish his purpose is to use us as we invest what he has entrusted to us. We’ve all been entrusted with gifts, passion and resources, however great or small. God can use these things if we will let Him. It may not be that any one of us is called to rescue girls or prosecute traffickers, but all of us are called to invest something of ourselves in God’s mission to rebuild the broken places around us.
God wants us to be a part of rebuilding what is broken, He’s saying we all have something to offer and, in fact, we must offer what we have to Him and to His world. I love the way the New Testament scholar N.T. Wright puts it when he says, “The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die… What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it… What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God's future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it…). They are part of what we may call building for God's kingdom.”
We all are given opportunities every day to either lean in or step away from the thing God has put in front of us. We must not be afraid to lean in to what God is calling us to do. There is so much to be done, and He calls us to the work.
For further exploration:
Check out information from several websites:
My Refuge House www.myrefugehouse.org
International Justice Mission www.ijm.org
Polaris Project www.polarisproject.org
Girls Like Us, by Rachael Lloyd
Good News About Injustice, by Gary Haugan
A Crime So Monstrous, by Benjamin Skinner,
Half the Sky, Nicolas Kristoff and Cheryl WuDunn
Terrify No More, by Gary Haugan
Not For Sale, by David Batstone